Making a Brown Trout Stick
Having flattened the horn the next step is to squeeze the core hole, I have a large piece of steel which has had an appropriate groove milled in it, however two sections of a long bearing will do the same job. The size should be about three inches long and the diameter, at least one and one quarter inches long.
This shows the horn and the block I use to squeeze the core hole, I also normally use a metal pin inserted as far as possible into the core hole when squeezing the horn. This helps to stop the horn folding in on itself and also provides a hole for inserting the joining pin. On this occasion I am using a dowel and I know that other people insert a soft wood into the core hole and drill the centre out repeatedly as they squeeze the horn, this means that the heating process has to repeated several times. Finally the point of the horn has to be cut off to allow the block to be positioned.
The horn in the block being squeezed. Both the horn and the block need heating for this procedure. I heat the horn with a hot air paint stripper, mainly along the inside edge because I want the back of the horn to be hard enough to force the horn into the block, do not burn the horn. The block I heat on a gas ring to the point where a drop of water will sizzle when dropped on it. The jaws of the vice are slowly closed as the horn absorbs the heat from the block. If there is insufficient heat to fully close the core hole then the procedure can be repeated. If using the softwood filling method then the procedure is repeated until the all the wood has been removed.
This shows the end of the horn fully squeezed up with the distorted dowel showing where I will drill the hole for the joining rod.
If using a metal rod remove it, this might be difficult if the horn has squeezed tight and cut off the end of the horn that has been deformed by the pressure. This cut can be at right angles to the squeezed part of the horn or angled down to the back. It does not look good if the angle slopes forward.